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Netflix Orders Mars Mission Drama From Jason Katims, Matt Reeves

Netflix has ordered a drama series about humanity’s attempt to reach Mars, Variety has learned.

Loosely inspired by Chris Jones’ Esquire article “Away,” the series is described as an epic love story and a thrilling tale of survival set against humanity’s greatest endeavor: the first human mission to Mars. Emma Green is an American astronaut who must leave her husband and teenage daughter behind in order to command an international space crew embarking upon a treacherous, year-long mission. Netflix has ordered a 10 episode first season.

“Away” hails from writers Jason Katims and Andrew Hinderaker. Hinderaker wrote the pilot and will co-executive produce the series. Katims will serve as a writing executive producer on the series going forward. Matt Reeves will executive produce via his 6th & Idaho banner, which is currently set up under a first-look deal at Netflix. Negotiations are currently underway to secure a showrunner.

6th & Idaho’s Adam Kassan will also executive produce. Michelle Lee will serve as executive producer on episode one, as she helped develop the series at True Jack before heading to Apple in December. Her replacement at True Jack, Jeni Mulein, will then co-executive produce episodes two through ten.

Universal Television will produce along with True Jack and 6th & Idaho. True Jack is currently under an overall deal at Universal.

Reeves is also an executive producer on Fox’s upcoming series adaptation of “The Passage” and previously co-created “Felicity” with J.J. Abrams. On the film side, he has helmed two entries in the revamped “Planet of the Apes” franchise. He also worked on the screenplay for 2017’s “War for the Planet of the Apes” in addition to directing, and is set to direct, write, and produce the upcoming DC film “The Batman.”

Katims most recently created the NBC musical drama “Rise” and the CBS medical drama “Pure Genius,” both of which ended after one season. He is also known for shows like “”Friday Night Lights,” “Parenthood,” and “Roswell.”

Hinderaker was recently nominated for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical for his work “The Magic Play.” He also previously worked on Showtime’s “Penny Dreadful,” “Pure Genius,” and “The Path” at Hulu.

This marks the latest small screen project to explore the gargantuan task of making it to the Red Planet. Nat Geo aired the first season of their original series “Mars” in 2016. That show blends interviews with contemporary figures about what life on Mars would be like with a fictional storyline about a crew trying to survive on the planet.

Meanwhile, Hulu is prepping “The First” starring Sean Penn and Natascha McElhone. That series will chronicle a fictional effort to send the first manned mission to Mars. “The First” hails from executive producer Beau Willimon.

Reeves is repped by CAA, 3 Arts Entertainment, and Jackoway Tyerman. Katims is repped by CAA. Hinderaker is repped by CAA and Literate.

(Pictured: Jason Katims)

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